To friend or not to friend….

Mia is a candidate for our Master’s in Communication, and has recently brought to light the need for a list-serv in which our students can talk with each other.  We are exploring opportunities and extend the offer to our current graduate students to utilize this blog as a resource until we find a solution. Mia is conducting research, and could use your help. She participated in the fourth annual graduate research poster session, and continues her research on Relationship Development and Maintenance in Online Social Networks.

Mia presenting her poster

Mia presenting her poster

Are you one Face of the 350 million Facebookers? Then ever since your parents, relatives, or former high school buddies have joined, I’m sure you’ve encountered the problem of whether to friend somebody or not more than once.

The research that I’m conducting for my Master’s thesis “Birds of a Feather Flock Together Reloaded: Homophily in the Context of Online Social Networking Sites such as Facebook” is inquiring about the relationships and friendships that we foster and maintain online.

Since Facebook has lost its original status as an exclusive college niche community and its fastest growing demographic is now 30 years and up, I’m interested in how professional, social, or familial relationships are developed in online environments, and whether they differ from our offline, interpersonal relationships. How homophilious (which is the tendency to associate ourselves only with like-minded people) are these online friendships? Have different generations varying uses for Facebook?

After presenting preliminary results of a pilot study at the Graduate Student Poster Session in January, I am currently conducting a larger online survey consisting of 34 questions to inquire about these issues. If you’re interested to see how your Facebook use and relationship maintenance compares to those of other users, I invite you to participate in this survey by clicking on the link below:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB22A6JKJSUVZ

Your participation is completely voluntary, and all data obtained will be confidential and anonymous. There will be consent page before the survey begins.

If you have any further comments/questions about my research or if you are interested in the results, don’t hesitate to contact me. And please feel free to tweet the survey link to your followers or post it on any other social networks you’re a part of.

Mia

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